“There are two sides to every story.” No, there are NOT!
This is one of those clichés that is not only untrue, but it also is dangerous. Just this week I heard a reporter quote a candidate for President of the United States who said that President Obama is responsible for the increase in the number of deaths of police officers in this country. The reporter made absolutely no attempt to correct the claim, report the facts, or refute the lie. There are not two sides to this story. There is one set of facts—police deaths are at the lowest they have been in our lifetimes—and the rest is a lie.
If we would return to reporting facts as facts then people might be able to recognize lies and politicians would quit telling so many with such impunity. PolitiFact works very hard at sorting fact from fiction, but their work is largely buried and ignored because it doesn’t make for good drama or “balanced” reporting.
It is terrifying to me how many people in America have come to believe so many things that simply aren’t true. How did settled science suddenly become just one side’s opinion? Why can’t the media report that corporate polluters are poisoning the dialogue about climate change so they can continue to poison the environment for profit?
What about in our relationships? Are we willing to let someone poison our relationship with another person, regardless of how that first person has treated us? Have you ever had someone fall out with you suddenly, though you knew you had never done or said anything to deserve it? Preachers have that all the time. Someone says something about you, and it doesn’t matter if it is true or not. Suddenly someone doesn’t like you, though you cannot for the life of you understand why.
It is why Jesus emphasized direct dealing. There are NOT two sides to every story. Generally, there is the truth, and, though we may or may not like it or agree with it, that is the side we need to see. Only then can we deal with it.
Rev. Michael Piazza